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Non-renewable resources & energy. Economics, management, and policy. Motivating Group Project. California Renewable Energy Requirement for Electricity: Legislation requires that 20% of generation be from renewables by 2020. How can this best be achieved? 2003-4 Bren Group Project.

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non renewable resources energy

Non-renewable resources & energy

Economics, management, and policy

motivating group project
Motivating Group Project
  • California Renewable Energy Requirement for Electricity: Legislation requires that 20% of generation be from renewables by 2020. How can this best be achieved?
  • 2003-4 Bren Group Project
key characterisics of nonrenewables
Key Characterisics of Nonrenewables
  • Fixed endowment of given quality
  • Stock declines over time
  • For minerals
    • Costly process of discovery
    • Costly process of extraction
    • Technical change decreases costs of exploration and extraction over time
  • Key Results
    • Physical Stocks Decline over time
    • Price eventually increases with time
    • Technical change may cause prices to decrease initially
time paths
Time paths

Production ceases;

Substitutes enter

p

t

tc dominates

exhaust dom

Stock

t

scarcity value of non renewables
Scarcity value of non-renewables
  • Since limited supply, non-renewable resource command a “scarcity value”
  • Problem: You own a barrel of oil. Can sell today for $30. Should you sell today, or wait for next year? (r=.05)
slide6

Intertemporal Arbitrage: Hotelling’s Rule

  • Price today: p0 (=$30)
  • Price tomorrow: p1
  • If p1>$31.50, wait
  • If p1<$31.50, sell today
  • In equilibrium:
    • p1=p0(1+r)
hotelling rent
Hotelling “rent”
  • Real Prices should rise at rate of interest. If think they won’t, firms would deplete reserves today.
  • What about extraction costs?
    • Rt = Pt – MCt implies Rt+1 = Rt(1+r)
  • Also called “user cost”, “royalty”, “rent”
  • Hotelling: It is actually rent which rises at rate of interest
  • Present value of rents equal through time.
    • Indifferent between selling barrel today or any point in future.
what about quantity extracted
What about quantity extracted?
  • Recall demand curve:

If price increases through time,

quantity must decrease.

$

  • Confounding factors:
  • Shifts in demand
  • New discoveries
  • New extraction technology
  • Backstop technology

D

Barrels of oil

prices and quantities over time
Prices and quantities over time

Seek: Price path that follows Hotelling Rule, such that stock is just exhausted when quantity demanded drops to zero

Price

Quantity

Produced

time

time

switching to a backstop
Switching to a “backstop”
  • Backstop technology: a perfect substitute for non-renewable resource that can be produced in any amount at constant (usually high) price.
  • When price of non-renewable = price of backstop, we’ll switch.
the effect of a backstop technology
The effect of a backstop technology

Question: If you know backstop price

And stock of resource, how do you

Find initial price?

$

MCb

Price path with

backstop

time

other factors that affect price path with a backstop technology
Other factors that affect price path: with a backstop technology
  • Decreasing extraction cost:
    • Lower price initially, then rises more quickly
  • Sudden increase in demand:
    • Price jumps suddenly, decreases current consumption.
  • Monopoly:
    • Price higher but rises more slowly, but extraction is slower so extends life of the resource.
the monopoly case
The monopoly case

Price

Quantity

Monopoly

MCb

Time

Time

What do they mean when they say “A monopolist is a conservationist’s best friend”?

physical measures of scarcity
Physical measures of “scarcity”
  • Reserves: known amount that can be profitably extracted.
    • Changes with tech, discoveries, cost, price. Inventory ~ constant through time
  • Reserves/Production:
    • Assumes constant demand
  • Crustal abundance: total amt in crust.
    • Ignores cost of extraction
  • Ultimately recoverable: total to 1 km depth
    • Arbitrary, different for all resources, no new tech.
economic measures of scarcity
Economic measures of “scarcity”
  • Marginal cost of extraction:
    • likely to increase as stock decreases, but ignore price
  • Price:
    • Ignores extraction cost.
  • Hotelling rent:
    • Difficult to observe, but probably best measure of scarcity.
  • Confounding factor:
    • Technology of extraction continues to improve
studies of scarcity
Studies of Scarcity
  • Barnett and Morse (Scarcity and Growth)
    • Looked at natural resource prices over 100 yrs
    • Nearly all resources getting less scarce
    • Timber only exceptin
  • Slade
    • Extraction tends to drive price up
    • Technological change tends to drive price down
    • Eventually exhaustion overcomes tech change
  • Simon-Ehrlich Bet
  • Question: If we made the same bet today, who would be on Ehrlich’s side and who on Simon’s?
subsidizing renewable energy
Subsidizing renewable energy
  • Remember our model: Price of non-renewable rises until it reaches price of backstop.
  • If extraction cost = 0, extract all non-renewable before switching (more likely, won’t extract all of it).
  • If MCb decreasefrom subsidy, current price of oil will decrease, and consumption of oil will increase.
the effect of decreasing mc b
The effect of decreasing MCb

Price path with

high backstop price

MCb0

MCb1

Price path with

low backstop price

time

comparing the two policies
Comparing the two policies
  • Taxing the thing that causes damage (oil consumption) can internalize externality.
  • Subsidizing renewables may have unintended consequence of pushing consumption of fossil fuels to the present!
  • Principle of targeting: design regulation or policy to target (internalize) the externality.
slide21
OPEC
  • Organization of petroleum exporting countries
    • Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela
  • Controls most of world oil production.
  • Maintain low production to keep prices (profits) high.
  • Why would prices ever drop?
the prisoner s dilemma
The “Prisoner’s Dilemma”

Saudi Arabia

cooperate

defect

30

40

cooperate

30

5

Kuwait

5

10

defect

40

10

maintaining cooperation
Maintaining cooperation
  • An example of a “Nash Equilibrium” – both countries do what is in their best interest given what the other does.
  • Defecting from the original agreement is a dominant strategy for both countries.
  • Intuitively, incentive to cheat (by overproducing) is very high.
    • Because other countries restrict output to keep prices high.
electricity markets basic conditions
Electricity Markets – Basic Conditions
  • Demand – energy vs. power
  • Reliability

Area under curve is

energy

Power

24 hours

time

Probability

Density

Loss of load probability

Power system demand (kw)

basic questions
Basic Questions
  • What demand level should system be designed for?
  • Electricity = power + energy + reliability
  • Supply – 3 activities:
    • Generation
    • Transmission
    • Distribution
operation of power system
Operation of Power System

Load Duration Curve:

Area under LDC is energy

Peak Load

Power at

Least this

high

Intermediate Load

Baseload

100% Fraction of Year

regulation of electricity markets
Regulation of Electricity Markets
  • Historically natural monopoly
    • Rate of Return Regulation
    • Utilities allowed to price to achieve “fair rate of return”
    • Problems:
      • Gold plating
      • Inefficient
      • Average Cost Pricing
  • More recently (worldwide): deregulation
the california energy crisis
The California energy crisis
  • Pre-1999
    • 3 regulated monopolies that owned and operated generation, transmission, distribution (PG&E, SCE, SDG&E)
    • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates wholesale power transactions (one utility to another)
    • California Public Utilities Commission regulates retail prices (to consumers)
restructuring electricity
Restructuring electricity
  • Designed competitive wholesale market
    • Suppliers bid to supply electricity on daily basis
    • “Grid” accepts lowest bids; price at margin
  • Goal: more competitive California
    • Argued it would decrease prices
    • Could pass savings on to consumers by giving them a choice of supplier
  • But consumer side still regulated.
  • Didn’t work
    • Prices skyrocketed over 500% between 1999-2000.
    • Utilities paying far more than consumers paid.
    • State had to bail out industry, cost $60 billion.
from joskow
From Joskow:

“The wholesale prices prevailing between June and

September 2000 were much higher than the fixed

retail price that the utilities were permitted to charge”

why did wholesale prices rise
Why did wholesale prices rise?
  • Rising natural gas prices (natural gas is an input to electricity production)
  • Large increase in demand in CA (growth)
  • Reduced imports from other states (heat waves)
  • Rising prices for NOx emissions credits (costs of producing electricity)
  • Market power (in wholesale spot mkt)
why didn t it work lessons
Why didn’t it work & lessons
  • Technically challenging to create competitive wholesale market
  • Consumers were insulated from wholesale market prices (because retail market still regulated).
    • Deregulated wholesale, failed to deregulate retail prices or to allow forward contracts.
    • Required utilities to buy at unregulated price and sell at regulated retail price.
what next
What next?
  • State committed to long-term contracts at unreasonably high prices – cost $60 billion.
  • Prices likely to remain high to pay off.
  • Prices dropped in 2001 due to increased supply, decreased demand.
  • SCE and PG&E effectively bankrupt.
  • Replaced deregulated wholesale with state procurement and regulated prices
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